Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke has alleged there is a plot to remove Kelvin Charles as Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary.
And he is urging Charles to save face by dissolving the Assembly to make way for an early THA election. The election is constitutionally due in 2021.
"I feel empathy for Charles and if I am in his shoes, I would not want to be upstaged in that way," he told reporters during a news conference on Tuesday at James Park, Scarborough.
"That is why people must know when they have served their time and when to leave. People must know when it is to dissolve the THA and let them take election. People must know when to make a move. Be a man and make a decision."
Charles lost the leadership of the People's National Movement Tobago Council to TT Ambassador to Costa Rica Tracy Davidson-Celestine in a runoff of Sunday. However, he still holds the portfolio of Chief Secretary.
Duke alleged Davidson-Celestine is behind the plot.
"If he allows Tracy Davidson-Celestine to perform that successful coup d'etat, it would have been better for him not be born. He would have allowed a shame to come upon him and his family that could never be washed away with soap, not with the best detergent."
He continued: "I am saying this is what could be afoot right now, a coup d'etat to overthrow the legitimate Chief Secretary and I would say to the Chief Secretary if he allows them upstage him and reduce him from a Chief Secretary to that of an assemblyman, in the words Christ, it would have been better for him not to be born. He has embarrassed the PNM. He has embarrassed man. He has embarrassed Tobago. He must not allow anybody to take him and make him into a puppet."
Duke said he empathises with Charles.
"If someone is Chief (Secretary), I expect him to be Chief (Secretary). He did not steal his way there. But after all, there seemed to be some conniving; there seemed to be some underhand tactics; there seemed to be a number of things taking place."
Duke said the fact that the election was held under the one man, one vote system does not make a difference.
"We have seen the prime minister coming up and getting himself involved in politics; we have seen His Excellency (TT High Commissioner to the UK Orville London) coming back home and getting himself involved; we have seen Neil Wilson (former Tobago Council chairman). Why can't they allow the elections to be determined by the people?"
Duke said Deputy Chief Secretary Joel Jack's decision to contest the leadership in the internal election is also a case in point.
"I have seen JJ pull the 'dagger' out of his cloak and drive into the Chief Secretary's back. It is shameful. And I am saying it is difficult for him to recover at this point in time.
"If he does not make the right move and dissolve the THA, what he will be doing is embarrassing himself, his family and he can no longer live with dignity in this country. He will have to bow his head in shame."
Efforts to contact Davidson-Celestine for a comment were futile as calls to her cellphone went unanswered.